Malocclusion Causes Categories Prevention And Treatment
Oral health is one of the critical aspects of an individual’s health. Getting infected with any dental problem poses a risk to your body’s health and can lead to the occurrence of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and other health-related issues. It is better to ensure that one follows good dental hygiene practices not only for the well-being of mouth, teeth, and gums but also for the overall well-being of the body.
Moreover, the quality of life takes a severe hit when oral hygiene practices are not followed and if any oral disease is not taken care of and treated correctly.
Maintaining good oral hygiene prevents bad breath and ensures healthy teeth and gums. Thus, it is quintessential to follow proper dental hygiene practices. However, certain dental conditions develop due to several factors such as genetic, environmental and hormonal components.
Malocclusion is one such dental condition that is majorly developed due to genetic factors.
What Is Malocclusion?
Firstly, it is necessary to understand that our upper teeth prevent us from biting our lips and cheeks while the lower teeth protect against the tongue from getting bitten.
Occlusion refers to the arrangement and alignment of the teeth. Occlusion refers to the upper, and lower jaw teeth should fit together in the sense that the molar points fit the grooves of the opposite molar. The upper teeth must be aligned in a way that they are just slightly over the lower teeth.
Malocclusion of teeth, on the other hand, is the misalignment of lower and upper teeth such that they pose a problem while performing vital functions such as biting.
Causes Of Malocclusion
- Hereditary factor that runs the disorder down the family can be pointed out as the primary reason behind the improper alignment of the teeth.
- The difference in the size of the upper jaw and the lower jaw is also one of the reasons.
- The difference between the jaw and the tooth size and the shape of the jaw are also factors behind the misalignment of teeth.
- Congenital disabilities have also sometimes led to the cause of malocclusion. The congenital disabilities may be cleft lip or palate.
- The habits developed in childhood such as sucking the thumb and tongue thrusting have also been listed as the cause of malocclusion. Also, use of a bottle for long durations and the use of a pacifier after three months are also the known causes of the condition.
- On undergoing a severe jaw injury, misalignment of teeth is a possibility.
- Sometimes, extra teeth or overcrowding of teeth and also ill-fitting dental fixtures, crowns, etc., are among the listed causes if malocclusion.
- A tumor of the mouth of the jaw may also be the causes of malocclusion.
Symptoms Of Malocclusion
The signs of malocclusion can be listed as:
- Difficulty in talking and speech which is rare.
- Discomfort while chewing or biting.
- Disarrangement of teeth.
- The mouth structure looks abnormal.
- The breathing is through the mouth without the lips being closed.
Categories Of Malocclusion
There are three possible categories of malocclusion which are as follows:
- Class 1 – The upper teeth are slightly over the lower teeth, and the bite is pretty standard; This is the most common type.
- Class 2 – The upper teeth are severely over the lower teeth and the jaw. It is also known as retrognathism or overbite.
- Class 3 – In this type, the lower jaw and the teeth overlap the upper teeth and jaw. It is also known as prognathism or underbite.
Prevention Of Malocclusion
Since in most of the cases malocclusion is due to the condition passed down in the family, the prevention is difficult.
However, it can also be ensured that a child avoids habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.
Treatment Of Malocclusion
There are numerous malocclusion cases. However, most of the people do not require any surgery. However, Dr. Brady Bates, a popular Spokane Dentist, suggests that if the condition is causing severe biting and chewing problems, then proper consultation with a doctor is essential to get that perfect alignment of teeth.
Malocclusion treatment involves:
- Removing extra tooth or teeth
- Implanting braces and other applications
- Repairing irregular-shaped, or broken teeth.
- In a few cases, a surgery wherein the jaw size is shortened or lengthened is needed.
- The treatment may take about six months to two years or more.
Though malocclusion is easy and quick to treat and inexpensive, it is essential that proper care is taken during childhood to avoid any such complications in the future.